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The Rachel Maddow Show

News/Business. (2010)

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Ni Hao 12, Alaska 9, Michigan 9, Michael Steele 8, Us 8, Arizona 7, Christine O'donnell 6, Florida 5, Washington 5, Lisa Murkowski 5, Murkowski 5, Ellen 5, Islam 4, Delaware 4, Joe Biden 4, U.s. 4, California 3, Mccain 3, Rachel 3, Joe Miller 3,
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  MSNBC    The Rachel Maddow Show    News/Business.  (2010)  

    September 7, 2010
    11:00 - 12:00am EDT  

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if they hadn't been treated. so you don't treat -- you don't learn how to cure something by not treating it. you treat it and i think that could have been the case here. . . >> now to discuss when thank you. and thanks to you at home for staying with us for the next hour. happy day after labor day, everybody. as the day after labor day, today is officially two things. it is the first day on which it is no longer okay to wear white. i'm talking to you. yes, i can see you. it's also this. >> unofficial end of summer
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means the 2010 campaign season is now in full swing. >> campaign season kicking into high gear today with the arrival of labor day. >> labor day typically marks the unofficial kickoff of the mid-term campaign season. >> labor day of course signals the official start of the campaign season. >> welcome to the beginning of official start of the campaign season. >> welcome to the beginning of tough campaign season. >> it is always true in any election in the matter what else has happened all year long, a labor day in with a day after your day is when everybody agrees that the campaign season is in top gear. this is not one of those things because this is the wisdom that is not true. all you have to do to verify its look at the president's schedule to know that the campaign season is in top gear. you don't even have to close your i. obama and . >> i am going to keep fighting
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every single day, every single hour, every single minute to turn this economy around and put people back to work and renew the american dream, not just for your family, not just for all our families but for future generations. that i can guarantee. that is why, milwaukee, today, i am announcing a new plan for rebuilding and modernize the american's roads and rails and runways for the long term. i want america to have the best infrastructure in the world. >> the sexiest word in american public policy, it infrastructure. as the economy continues to be the biggest issue in the country but also the democratic party's biggest liability heading into the elections eight weeks from today, expect to hear a lot more about infrastructure and a lot more about president obama
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talking infrastructure, economy, jobs. the economy, jobs, economy jobs. when we have options to bring down unemployment, nothing is a perfect solution, but spending money to rebuild infrastructure is and unalps forcible, uncontroversial fame. remember back during that, they wanted more of it. >> we do need more money on infrastructure spending. more on infrastructure. >> 7% of this on infrastructure out of eight hundred twenty-five million. we have an opportunity to double the amount of infrastructure money. >> $825 billion bill. about $90 billion worth of infrastructure, this was not a stimulus bill. >> but democrats and republicans get together and say, one thing we agree on with it spending is
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for simple infrastructure. >> if there is one thing we can agree on, it is for infrastructure. everybody agrees. after president obama came out and proposed some infrastructure spending yesterday, the republican leadership came out and now they are totally against it. according to house minority leader, the white house has chosen to double down on more of the same, quote, stimulus spending. mitch mcconnell slammed it as a last-minute cobbled together stimulus bill that will not reverse the complete lack of confidence we have on the ability to help this economy. so much for infrastructure spending been the one thing we agree on. they agreed on it until president obama proposed some of it. how are you emphatically for spending and then decide you are against it once it has actually been proposed?
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republicans coming out against tax cuts? yes. tomorrow, president obama announcing $300 worth of corporate cash tux of the exact variety that republicans are on record been in favor of. the biggest piece is a $200 billion tax cut for companies to write off any investment in new plants and equipment. just deduct anything you spend on stuff like that from your taxes. this is not in a regional idea. it has been done by republicans. the republican controlled congress in 2000 to allow companies to write off 30% of their investments. 2003, republicans raced back for 50% of equipment purchases. four senate republicans are cosponsoring legislation to renew and allow companies to write off 50% of their equipment purchases. president obama is about to announce to 100%, more than
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republicans ever dreamed of. the response quote, president obama's latest plan should be met with justifiable skepticism. >> why? these are your ideas. if you are not down with the business tax cuts and specifically on investing and equipment but that when that has been your idea, why justifiable skepticism? it is your idea. there are two possible things, but president obama somehow thinks that republicans will be voting for things they say they are for like tax cuts for businesses. if you listen to president obama, he does not sound like he is being that nice even about that. >> even on days we usually agree on, they say no. if i said the sky was blue, they would say no.
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if i said fish live in the sea, they would say no. >> i think the president has spent this amused of any notion that republicans might vote for their own policies. even if he proposes them. the other possibility is that this tactic, what president obama started doing in this campaign season is about showing, demonstrating that republican craven this, showing that they will reject and announced and if obama is for them. >> if i said the sky was blue, they would say no. if i said fish live in the sea, they would say no. >> it seems like he gets it. they come on day, the case they are making to the crowd in the joaquin is about to say, the republicans being crazy extreme
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about the opposition to him. you know what that resonates with, that argument gets big smiles and laughter and spontaneous applause from a crowd. that argument works for and motivates and fires up and gets ready to go, the democratic base, the progressive base of the democratic party. remember them? >> all i want to say thank you to the milwaukee area labor council and all of my brothers and sisters in the afl-cio for letting me spend this day with you. the. >> thank you afl-cio. thank you labor roots of the democratic base. the most important national dynamic heading into this year's elections is the economy. politically, the yawning chasm that is the enthusiasm gap between the republican base that is highly motivated and the democratic base which has not been motivated at all.
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democratic are ready to start working on that. they have eight weeks from today. ticktock, tiptop. >> policy was, what is president obama proposing this week that is so offensive to republican ideology? >> we have one tax cut that is meant to give businesses hundreds of millions of dollars to invest in e equipment and give businesses hundreds of billions of dollars to do research and equipment. we have the infrastructure bill which will be about $50 billion which will be and of leverage and multiplying. this is a pretty business friendly package proposals. they are not that day. a lot of them were based on republican proposals from the beginning.
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the problem is they are coming from a democratic president. we are eight weeks before the election. this is fundamentally a elect world. >> john bannister responded to these proposals by saying, they cannot address the problems. excessive government spending and the uncertainty that washington policies are creating for small businesses. i hear you that this is an electorial argument not an ideological one, but i do not understand the case he is making. what is this uncertainty argument? >> i have been like mario looking for the princess on this. whenever you talk to this they tell you, what i would like is if the government were more doing what i want them to do. i spoke some folks that said they need to invest in nuclear energy let the one bit the
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republicans wanted to do. certainly the base of committed you would love to have the tax credit expanded and made permanent. that has been one of the major sources. we tend to -- there is the question, if you are a grudge restore near a school and teacher shop there, the uncertainty is that the state will fire the teachers and they won't shop there. the biggest uncertainty businesses are facing is that they will not have customers. what the government does, the money where the customers to pay them to help them do what they need to do to hire and expand reduces their uncertainty. what republicans are worsened -- president obama has heard the message of the voters. they have pretty good ideas. that is not a winning message going into an election.
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>> one other specific policy angle on what the president is proposing. i am open about the fact i love infrastructure because i hate bad infrastructure, and it makes sense economically and from a national point of view. what does this infrastructure bank idea that president obama is talking about? >> infrastructure has a couple of problems. one will be for so if western states. it is hard for california and arizona to get together and do it. the bills don't come up in congress very much. we wait for stimulus measures. infrastructure will be a bank with politically appointed and insulated appointees. appointed and confirmed by senate. they would get maybe $50 billion, which they could use to leverage up and make loans to cut projects. a way of speaking this along and
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prioritizing effectively. >> theory could explain of complicated things, thinking for your time. >> it is an issue that has led to many a sunday school off red bat an angry god will strike you blind. we're making grow hair on your palms. an issue that is difficult for a person who pushes easily to discuss on television without the help of extra heavy duty make up. that is an issue become the unavoidable in a-profile race. we shall endeavor to discuss it in a moment. when it is done we shall be relieved. not like that. sorry. man, it would be a lot easier if we didn't have to weigh 'em all. if those boxes are under 70 lbs. you don't have to weigh 'em. with these priority mail flat rate boxes from the postal service, if it fits, it ships anywhere in the country for a low flat rate. no weigh? nope. no way. yeah. no weigh? sure. no way! uh-uh. no way.
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> you know that expression the enemy of my enemy is my friend? in arizona this year that could be changed to the enemy of my enemy is in total fraud. dirty tricks, specious third party candidates all ahead.
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when i was growing up in california i played a lot of sports. i know. insert gay joke here. there is a political point. hold on. i started as a very young kid playing lots of sports, basketball and soccer and i am not proud of this but i was sort of a rough player. i think i compensated for not being a great player by having greatly sharp elbows. i probably fouled out of more high school basketball games than i managed to stay in. but there was one rule i always remembered, one rule we all remembered because it's just about the first thing you learn in kids' sports. after the game when you're done trying to knock it out of each other while your parents cringe you are supposed to line up and shake hands and say good game
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and wish your opponent well. that's the way it is supposed to go in kids' sports, adult sports, and in life generally. especially the parts of life that are often really analogous to sports, things like electoral politics. but apparently this year a lot of candidates on one side of the aisle were hiding out in the minivan when their coaches were trying to teach them the whole shake hands sportsmanship lesson. a surprising number of republicans who have lost in primary elections this year are refusing to go along with the campaign version of shaking hands. the dreaded unity rally. where all the candidates from the same party endorse whoever won the primary so the whole party will be unified for the general election. last week we reported after senator mccain beat j.d. hayworth in arizona's republican primary for senate mr. hayworth not only did not endorse senator mccain he did not show up at the supposed unity rally. then senator mccain's people kept attacking j.d. hayworth at that supposedly unifying event.
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same deal happened in florida where rick scott beat bill mccollum in the republican primary for governor. bill mccollum not only did not endorse rick scott but told reporters he still thought mr. scott was dishonest in florida they canceled the unity rally rather than put on a sham one. in nevada, miss louden refused to endorse ms. angle and she skipped the unity event there as well. after we reported those stories last week the website think progress found a bunch of other examples of the same phenomenon. in washington's senate primary the defeated tea party republican refusing to endorse the republican nominee. in missouri the tea party candidate refusing to endorse the republican who won the senate primary. it was either no endorsement or skipping the unity rally for losing republican candidates for congress in south carolina, washington, pennsylvania, indiana, and kansas. also in the governor's races in iowa and in south carolina. it turns out that what we have spotted is not just a trend.
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it is almost the new normal. tea party favorite clint didier lost the senate primary in washington to dino rossy. he is still withholding his endorsement and now tells us, quote, i want him to win in the worst way. it's not that i wouldn't endorse him. i will endorse him but he has to try and reach out to my voters. didier also insists mr. rossi adopt mr. didier's positions because, hey, when you want your opponent to win in the worst possible way, you should first saddle him with your losing agenda that couldn't even get you through the primary. but at least mr. didier is offering to shake hands if he gets what he wants. in alaska soon to be former senator lisa murkowski has decided not only is she not going to shake hands, she is not even going to quit playing. lisa murkowski lost in the republican primary to a tea party backed candidate named joe miller. lisa murkowski pointedly did not endorse mr. miller. now senator murkowski has told
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the associated press that despite losing that primary she is not a quitter and that she is, quote, still in this game. it appears senator murkowski is testing the idea of running against joe miller again. this time perhaps on the state's libertarian party line. supporters of senator murkowski reportedly met with officials from alaska's libertarian party over the weekend to ask about the possibility of her becoming the libertarian candidate. the libertarian chairman later telling the anchorage paper that senator murkowski might as well try to climb mount mckinley. get out the ice axes. the ap now reporting that alaska's current libertarian candidate sat down today with senator murkowski to talk things over. he sounds like he may be open to giving up his spot on the ballot if he told the alaska dispatch alaska's senior republican senator essentially agrees to become its libertarian senior senator, quote, with sincerity he said and for real. trying to understand what that
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might mean to mr. hosi i spent some quality time today with his campaign website which is david for alaska.com. honestly i'm still not sure exactly what a lisa murkowski conversion to for real libertarianism might mean for david hosi. i can tell you he says on his website that he has, quote, hunted caribou and observed their determination. we will all be observing david for alaska's determination to stay in this race in the days ahead. as well as the beltway media's determination to not report on all of these major republican candidates openly hating on each other eight weeks before the election despite all the evidence that they are since that sort of story spoils the fact free election year narrative about how great things are going this year for the unified on the march gop. [ rumbling ]
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as we have been talking about on this show recently there is a little remarked upon epidemic of sore loserism in this year's elections. candidates who lose republican primaries but who can't accept that they lost, who refuse to congratulate or endorse the candidates who beat them. in addition, though, to the sore loser phenomenon, we are also witnessing this year republican candidates who simply freak out other republicans. in louisiana, for example, governor bobby jindal has found himself unable to endorse senator david vitter the hooker guy in the senator's bid for re-election. in colorado there is dan maze, the amazing republican nominee for governor who claimed falsely
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that he was once a secret agent in kansas. now the republican party in colorado wants dan maze to less than secretly drop out of the race. even ken buck the quite out there himself tea party endorsed republican candidate for senate in colorado has withdrawn his support for mr. maze. but the most extreme case of republicans being freaked out by one of their own appears to be happening in the great state of delaware. the primary is one week from today. and christine o'donnell with the backing of the tea party is taking her second stab at the united states senate. to get to the general election though first she must defeat mike castle a long-time republican congressman and former governor of the state. he is the choice of the gop establishment. he has never lost an election in his very long political career. a tea party group that invested heavily in joe miller's far right campaign against lisa murkowski in alaska is now supporting christine o'donnell in delaware. in any normal year mr. castle would be a shoe-in to win the primary but this is the year that not only brought us, mr.
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miller over ms. murkowski in alaska, it also brought us rand paul in kentucky and sharron angle in nevada and more. candidates who would be human interest stories in any normal election year who this year are beating establishment republicans in primaries all over the country. and so christine o'donnell and her long history of campaigning against things that don't usually get discussed on cable news now must be discussed on cable news. in her former job describing herself as the president and founder of the savior's alliance for lifting the truth, christine o'donnell told an mtv interviewer that conservatives crusading for abstinence were not going far enough. it is not enough to be abs tin ent with other people. you also have to be abstinnent alone. quote, the bible says that lust in your heart is committing adultery so you can't -- a word that rhymes with congratulate --
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without lust. as interesting as ms. o'donnell's opinions are on how people congratulate themselves, it is a november, 1998 article o'donnell wrote called "the case for chastity" in which she began, quote, adolph hitler once said to engineer a society you must first engineer its language. we can see the unfolding of that in our society. society's sexual liberation has unleashed an entirely new lexicon. for example gay has always meant joyful or gleeful. until the homosexuals got ahold of that word, like hitler did. finally, there is what christine o'donnell has said about herself, about her past run for the u.s. senate, some claims that don't add up. last thursday those claims caught up with her in a disastrous interview with a conservative radio host back in her home state. >> when you were speaking at an out of state group recently and you told them that you won two
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out of three counties in delaware, what did you mean? >> i don't think i ever said i won two out of three counties but i -- >> let's listen to the audio. hold on one second. i have the audio right here. >> i was a 2008 endorsed candidate against joe biden and i won in two counties. i didn't have the support of our liberal republicans then. >> you said you won in two counties. >> you know what? that probably was, you're on the campaign trail a lot. i meant tied. um -- >> well, you didn't tie. >> you have a tracker following you waiting for you to trip up. >> yeah, but you didn't -- christine, i'm just saying -- you didn't tie him either. >> oh, absolutely i did. >> no she didn't. she really didn't. didn't. it's a fact. didn't. ms. o'donnell isn't a new candidate. she ran and lost against democrat joe biden two years ago. but extreme views that did not even make the national radar then are precisely the kind of views that have gotten other republican candidates the nomination this election cycle. many of them destined to become united states senators in january.
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and their fellow republicans in some cases are freaking out about it. joining us now is a senior reporter for talking points memo who has been bringing a story of this race and this remarkable candidate to a national audience. thanks very much for joining us. >> thanks, rachel. >> have i missed anything about christine o'donnell that republicans are worried about in terms of her as a potential nominee? >> well, yes. actually, there are a few things. you haven't missed them but we haven't mentioned them here. her college education has been an issue. this is sort of a come up in recent stories in the last few days but also her finances. she is still paying off debt from the 2008 campaign and there are some questions about the way that she is raising money from her supporters and some of that is going to pay off that debt. and then also looking at sort of her own personal finances and what she has paid the irs and republicans have sort of quietly been making this an issue for a few weeks as they've worried she might actually beat mike castle.
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>> did she also tell "the weekly standard" she gets home every night and has staffers look through her bushes? >> yes, i am not sure if that was the exact quote but she essentially said people have been following her home and there are people looking in the bushes and she needs people to check that and that is a conservative publication, a friendly publication. a lot of republicans are pointing to that saying what's going on? you also had a supporter of o'donnell's sort of questioning mike castle's sexuality. o'donnell distanced herself from that but also repeated the allegations several times in press releases and in subsequent interviews. so there's definitely a lot going on there and national republicans are worried she is not ready for primetime. >> well, how realistic are her chances? i mean obviously in a normal election year she would be the kind of candidate that she was the last time that she ran in which case she was beaten rather soundly by joe biden. this is not a a normal election year. >> right. well, delaware has historically been a blue state, you know, in national elections. joe biden held that seat for decades. mike castle has been elected for decades in part because he earned the votes from
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independents and from democrats who respected his record. he had a pretty moderate record as a republican. this is a closed primary. you have to be a registered republican to vote. i've had my sources in the state telling me there could be as few as 50,000 voters coming out on tuesday. that is far less than came out in alaska's primary for example and this is the state that's not necessarily used to having competitive republican primaries so really anything can happen. you throw in the tea party endorsement of her, o'donnell has been courting sarah palin hoping for an endorsement there that could come in the next six days and everybody is spending a lot of money in a state not used to seeing competitive advertising. definitely anything could happen. >> senior reporter for talking points memo which has been doing a great job on this race and with this candidate thanks very much for joining us. >> thanks. have a great night. so the republican party chairman michael steele has found a way to kick off the campaign season today with a very expensive means of keeping himself totally out of the way and totally in the news at the same time. as always, michael steele is amazing. it's coming up.
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okay, class, our special guest is here -- ellen page. hi, ellen! hi, ellen! hi, ellen! hi, ellen! we're going on a field trip to china! wow. [ chuckles ] when i was a kid, we -- we would just go to the -- the farm. [ cow moos ] [ laughter ] no, seriously, where are you guys going? ni hao! ni hao! ni hao! ni hao! ni hao! ni hao! ni hao! ni hao! ni hao! ni hao! ni hao! ni hao! [ female announcer ] the new classroom. see it. live it. share it. on the human network. cisco. but what we can do is arm ourselves for the ones we love with a flu shot from walgreens. ♪ [ coughs ] [ female announcer ] with the most pharmacists certified to immunize... [ sneezes ] ...and walk-ins welcome everyday, we're making it easy for everyone to get their flu shot, no matter how small their motivation may be. ♪ so stop by and get your flu shot today at walgreens. there's a way to stay well.
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we learned today there are federal justice department investigations under way of at least five incidents of alleged violence or threats against muslims in this country. they include the stabbing of a new york city cab driver last month, arson at a construction site for a future mosque in murfreesboro, tennessee. another fire and graffiti at an islamic center in arlington, texas, a brick thrown into a window, and antiislam signs at a mosque in california and an incident last week in waterport, new york in which five teenagers were arrested after a son of one of the founders of a local mosque was sideswiped by a car a few days after a shotgun was fired into the air near the same mosque. today's announcement of these justice department investigations coming along side increasing statements of concern from washington over the planned actions of one tiny church in florida this weekend. the congregation is a small one in gainseville, florida that like the fred phelps funeral picketers from kansas revels in doing stuff extreme enough to attract nationwide condemnation.
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what this little publicity seeking extremist foundation has done now is they've declared on september 11 this year on saturday they will burn a thousand copies of the holy book of islam, the koran. why burn the koran? so that people will say the name of their congregation and their pastor on television which personally i can't stomach. general david petraeus in afghanistan this weekend expressed concern u.s. troops abroad could be targeted in retribution for a publicized koran burning. white house press secretary robert gibbs and state department spokesman p.j. crowley today echoing those concerns noting that u.s. diplomats in several countries have already reported small scale anti-american demonstrations. as the news starts to travel that in america that's where they burn the koran. joining us now for the interview is reverend dr. gaddy a baptist minister in louisiana, president of the interfaith alliance. he is also a member of the interfaith coalition on mosques
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and was part of the group that met with attorney general eric holder to talk about these incidents this afternoon. thanks very much for being here. >> thanks, rachel. >> can you tell me a little bit about your meeting this afternoon with the attorney general shall the subject and the outcome? >> it was a very interesting meeting, very personal meeting. we met with him to talk about ways in which there could be a legitimate partnership between religion and government, one that really works and doesn't have any exchange of money in it. we asked him to be very thoughtful in looking at people disobeying the law from the perspective of religious bias, prejudice, hatred, and to be very faithful in prosecuting those who commit hate crimes and let the american public know that we're going to, as a nation, protect people's right to worship as they please and
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that people who try to stand in the way of the constitution will be arrested and prosecuted. we also ask him for a high visibility from him and from the president in talking about the crisis that is developing with the rise in hatred and anger toward islam and toward muslims. we ask, also, that the justice department coordinate efforts from all cabinets on the president's staff to see that everybody in the administration was working on this particular issue. and i found him to be very attentive, very responsive in a way that was convincing. >> i'm reluctant to -- i was reluctant to talk about it in the introduction and almost reluctant to ask you now but i feel like i have to. this small extremist congregation in gainseville, florida planning to publicly
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burn copies of the holy koran, on the occasion of september 11, because it's september 11, did that issue come up specifically with the attorney general? did he address that? >> it did come up and i can quote him with permission. he said that the act is both ignorant and dangerous. i agree with him. i had the privilege this afternoon of being on an interview on an international network that broadcasts primarily in the middle east and i said what i wanted to and what i would say to our nation, too, as well, about that event. rachel, that is neither a patriotic act nor a religious act. i don't have the vocabulary to denounce the intent or the action going on in that church.
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it is dangerous for our nation abroad. it is disrespectful of our constitution. it certainly represents no religion i know and particularly christianity it doesn't represent. there is no way that should take place. >> welton, do you have any sense of why this is happening right now? i mean, there wasn't this sort of violent upsurge at least in this way, even after 9/11. do you have any sense of why it's happening now? >> right. i do. i think on the one hand, rachel, and you document it all the time, we've got a lot of people in this nation that are angry. they're not angry about islam. they're angry about the economy and the loss of jobs and all of that. and so we've had some people step in and manipulate this situation in a way to increase
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that anger and give people a way to focus it and the focus is on islam. look what's happening to our nation. we're losing our christian base. they're bringing in these people who are different and as different as an immoral act obviously. plus, and you know this, i'm sure, we have politicians trying to advance their own partisan careers by dividing this nation on this religious issue. it is inexcusable. >> reverend dr. welton gaddy president of the interfaith alliance member of the interfaith coalition on mosques, and my friend, happy to see you, welton. thank you very much for being here. >> you, too. bye-bye. coming up on "countdown" the noticeable absence of support from the right for general petraeus on his rebuke of the burn a koran day idea. next on this show, where in the world is michael steele on this unofficial first day of the election season? hint number one, he is not in hawaii.
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ram. during this final critical push of the mid term elections where has republican party chairman michael steele chosen to exercise his leadership? think of a place where the center of the political action is right now and then get on a plane going the other way. and then stay on that plane for a long, long time. that's where he is. that's next. tdd# 1-800-345-2550 no more paying to access your own money. tdd# 1-800-345-2550 it'd be like every atm in the world was your atm. tdd# 1-800-345-2550 the schwab bank high yield investor checking(tm) account. tdd# 1-800-345-2550 zero atm fees. tdd# 1-800-345-2550 a great interest rate. tdd# 1-800-345-2550 no minimums. tdd# 1-800-345-2550 the biggest thing in checking since checks. tdd# 1-800-345-2550 open an account at 1-800-4schwab or schwab.com.
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the political calendar has flipped over. we are past labor day. it is eight weeks out from the election. we are season. yes it gets going in fits and starts all year long but after labor day no argument. it is very clear for everybody in politics. everybody has their game face on. you see it in the president's schedule. he campaigned yesterday in milwaukee. tomorrow he is in cleveland. you see it in the light schedule and correspondingly low expectations for what congress will be able to do between now and the election because everybody is campaigning and in this particular campaign season with republican expectations as high as they have been in nearly 20 years, with more republican opportunity out there than in any other recent election, the republican party's leader, their national chairman, has embarked on his own somewhat mysterious campaign season strategy at a time when parties normally are fund raising as fast as they humanly can fund raise, at a time when parties are tri
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anlging, cutting off candidates who don't have a chance. when they are marshalling every available resource, every available republican headliner to help their candidates who need that last few weeks of help for the election, at the most key time for the republicans' most key election in years, the republican party's chairman michael steele has gone to guam. he just got back from puerto rico and the virgin islands. today he has gone to guam. tomorrow he is off to saipan famous for the jack abramoff lobbyist corruption scandal and also for being really far away. continental united states here, hawaii here. guam and the northern mariana islands all the way over there. that's where the chairman of the republican party is right now. you've heard of the republican party's southern strategy? this is their very, very, very, very, very far western strategy.
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neither the northern mariana islands nor guam nor puerto rico nor the virgin islands send voting members to congress. given that there are elections in eight weeks, congress is what you think you would think the republican party chairman would be focused on right now. but this isn't just any republican party chairman. this is michael steele. those little island territories might not be allowed to vote for congress, but they are allowed to vote for who gets to be chairman of the republican party. so if you are a donor to the republican party, the bad news is that eight weeks from the midterms, rnc money is being used to fly michael steele to four separate island nations that do not get to vote for a member of congress in the midterms. on the other hand, if you are a republican party donor, the good news is that eight weeks from the midterms, michael steele is in guam. i got into one of the best schools in the country!
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allow me to introduce you to a cunning campaign strategy in the great state of arizona. this is 20-year-old street guitar player benjamin percy. hes running for a seat on the arizona corporation commission under the green party ticket. this is thomas meadows, a 27-year-old tarot card reader running for state treasurer also as a green party candidate. this is anthony goshorn. everybody calls him grandpa. he's running as a green party candidate for the state senate in arizona. this batch of free-spirited arizona green party candidates is brought to you by, according to today's "new york times" a republican political operative who freely admits that their candidacies may siphon some support from the democrats. this is a story we have seen before. in the wide, wide world of political dirty tricks, the exploitation of a third party that caters to the opposing
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party's base, it's a genre all its own. you might remember the third party candidacy of one ralph nader, not necessarily in 2000 but in 2004. you might also remember how at one point nearly one in ten of mr. nader's major donors just so happened to be bush/cheney donors as well. i wonder why. in 2000 republican operatives in new jersey took credit for getting a green party candidate on the ballot in the u.s. senate race to try to drain votes from democrat rush holt. they tried to do the same thing in pennsylvania, in 2006. of course, roger stone, the famous for being famous republican dirty trickster who is proud of having learned dirty trickery from the nixon administration, he pulled the third party trick on an intraparty scale in 2000. first he recruited pat buchanan to run for president. then he recruited donald trump, who relentlessly attacked mr. buchanan as having a love affair with adolf hitler before mr. trump himself got out of the race. so you got your two bookend candidates to attack and chase
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each other effectively neutralizing each other, all of which results in a stronger republican party, with no real third party threat. ta-da! this happens a lot. unless we change the way we vote, unless we switch to the system they call instant runoff voting or one, two, three voting or australian voting where you can say if my first choice candidate doesn't win, give my vote to my second choice candidate. unless we adopt a system like that, oh, please, third party candidates will almost always function as spoilers in our two major party system, and that creates this incredible incentive for dirty tricks. for people to use a third party as a means of siphoning off votes from the base of one of the major parties. that's why we see republicans abusing the green party ballot over and over again. this is one of those rare moments in politics where the stupid beltway media device of saying oh, it happens on both sides, it's actually true. because just as the "new york times" is highlighting this instance of third party
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exploitation/spoilerism in arizona involving these green party candidates, the detroit news is also reporting on what appears to be a democratic dirty tricks case. democrats having tried to qualify fake tea party candidates for the ballot in michigan. in this case it turned out that a democratic party official had notarized affidavits for half the tea party's 23 candidates in michigan, and the company used to collect signatures to get those tea party candidates on the ballot was the same firm that michigan democrats had used for stealth petition drives in the past. also it should be noted that two of the candidates recruited for this supposed tea party were born in 1990 and therefore ineligible to either hold office in the state or to drink, for that matter. so for once, the oh, this thing happens on both sides tripe is actually true. there's one important caveat here. what's the difference in the outcome again say this year's arizona green party republican dirty tricks and the michigan tea party democratic dirty tricks?
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well, the reason the detroit news is reporting on the tea party candidates right now is because the fake tea party people are not going to be on the ballot in michigan. the democrats' attempt at dirty tricks involving a third party line in michigan did not work. yes, and in arizona, complaints have been diligently filed by democrats and by real green party folks, but right now, as it stands, that michigan tea party with the ineligible to serve 20 year olds that was going to hurt the republicans and help the democrats, that's not going to do anything. assuming it was a democratic dirty trick, it was a big fat failure of a democratic dirty trick. why did it fail? because whoever put together the petitions to get the 20 year olds on the ballot didn't put the name of the party in 24 point font as required by law. so far, the presumed democratic dirty trick has failed and the republican dirty trick in arizona appears to have worked. if you really want to know why, it's not just about following directions about 24 point font. there's one other otherwise unimportant detail about this pair of stories that tells you all you need to know about why these sort of tricks tend to
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work for republicans and not for democrats. when the democratic party fingerprints were found to be all over that michigan tea party thing, the two democratic party officials seen as most responsible for the trickery, including the one who notarized all those tea party affidavits, both of those democrats lost their jobs, one resigned, the other one was fired. the democrats responsible for that bad embarrassing dirty sleazy tea party dirty trick thing in michigan resigned in shame or were kicked out by the party. their counterpart in the republican party, the guy who recruited the homeless people, the tarot guy to run under the green party to hurt democrats, that guy is not only not ashamed of what he did, he's not only not getting fired, he's got his picture in the "new york times" and has done a whole article with them in which he brags about what he's done. so yeah, everybody does dirty tricks, both sides. but one side has been teaching it so long, they're actively